Monday, May 13, 2019

letter from Rav Moshe to Menachim Begin

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, President
Copy of a letter sent by Hagaon Rav Moshe Feinstein of blessed memory to former Israeli prime
minister Menachem Begin, 13 Kislev 5738 (Nov. 23, 1977):
In wake of the situation created by the visit of the President of Egypt whose address raised
the issue of territories, thus placing the topic of territorial withdrawal on the agenda, there are
two opposing views. One sees withdrawal from some territories as a condition for the survival
of the state, while others warn that withdrawal from any of the territories endangers its very
survival. This problem is a very complicated and dangerous for it is a matter of life or death for
tens of thousands of people in Israel and it is difficult to express a concrete and decisive opinion.
We only wish to point out that when deliberating such a question, our holy Torah directs that
any decision made in this fateful matter must take into account the opinion of the experts, the
military personnel who are privy to all military secrets and all dangers and predicaments that are
liable to occur after any decision. The Law is clearly stated in Shulchan Oruch, the Code of Jewish
Law, that when one is confronted with a question of Pikuach Nefesh (life or death) one must
consult the experts. Likewise in the matter of relinquishing territories one must follow the
opinion of the most significant experts.
We trust that with your wisdom and earnestness you yourself will know how careful to be in the
final decision. We wish you great success, and may G-d Almighty guard Eretz Israel and her
The Union of Orthodox Rabbis of U.S.A. and Canada
Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, President

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